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Ideas for DIY Outdoor Fall Flower Planters

Fall in the gardens and outdoors can be an amazing breath of fresh air… literally! The cool temperatures, the vibrant fall colors of the changing landscape, pumpkins, gourds, apples and the many flowers that are available for us to add to our outdoor spaces, are simply amazing. We’ve talked about reviving our summer containers for fall, the best fall perennials and lots of other fall gardening articles (listed at the bottom of this post), today we’re sharing the best flowers and plants for fall flower planters. As an additional bonus, we’re also sharing lots of pictures of all kinds of fall flower pots, along with the recipes to replicate them.

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Although end of summer flower gardens and containers are looking tired, you can refresh your outdoor landscape and add curb appeal with beautiful fall flower containers.

Colorful fall plants in a planter.

The Best Flowers and Plants for Outdoor Fall Flower Containers

All the plants on this list make excellent fall container plants. Depending what area of the country you live in and what gardening zone you’re in, as you experiment year-after-year, you will find more annual and perennial flowers and plants to add to this list. In my Zone 4b gardens, many of the fall plants listed here will survive a light frost or two. For those of you that are in warmer areas, some of these plants may survive all winter.

  • Mums
  • Asters
  • Strawflowers
  • Ornamental kale or cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • Creeping Jenny
  • Rudbeckia
  • Croton
  • Dianthus
  • Pansies
  • Violas
  • Creeping jenny
  • Ivy
  • Grasses – sedge, purple fountain grass
  • Ornamental peppers
  • Millet
  • Snapdragons
  • Alyssum
  • Celosia
  • Zinnias
  • Dusty miller
  • Coleus
  • Calibrachoa
  • Coral Bells
  • Succulents
  • Oxalis (a/k/a shamrock plant)
  • Marigolds
  • Sweet potato vine
  • Herbs

Fall plants in a garden center

Other Items to Add to Your Fall Planters:

Add some rustic character and whimsy to your Fall flower containers with:

  • Pumpkins
  • Gourds
  • Scarecrows
  • Birdhouses
  • Fall signs
  • Cute picks
  • Corn stalks
  • Indian corn
  • Pinecones
  • Acorns
  • Fall leaves
  • Bittersweet or faux bittersweet
  • Birch or other tree limbs
  • Dried hydrangeas
  • Chinese lanterns
  • Willow twigs
  • Dried Lotus Pods (I love these things. They look cool in winter planters too.)
  • Seed heads from past their prime plants (think coneflowers).

Be creative and use berries, plant foliage, pretty leaves, red dogwood branches, twigs or anything you can come up with from your own backyard.

Your fall flower containers can be simple and homey, or elaborate. The best part is you can go with your style and the style that compliments your home and create a flower pot to adorn your front porch or entry. Or really any place that is visible and can be enjoyed by you, your family and other visitors to your home. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase: “thriller, spiller and filler” when it comes to creating the best container gardens, but we are just going to throw those rules out. There are no rules when creating your fall flower container! Don’t be afraid to mix perennial plants with annual plants, or to use a wide range of colors in your fall containers.

Since I live and garden in Zone 4 and our Fall season is very short, I don’t like to spend lots of money creating new flower pots, so I revive my summer planters and reuse what I can from those and add in a few new plants. You can read all about how I do that in Tips on Transitioning Container Gardens to Fall. It includes some examples and tips, and is a great way to create a fall planter on a budget.

Beautiful fall flowers

DIY Fall Flower Planter Ideas

Get ready, because your creative juices are going to be kicking into overdrive. Don’t have creative juices, that’s okay, we include the recipes for most of these planters.

Just a disclaimer here: although most of these fall planters and containers are my own creations, in a few cases, I’ve used stock photos to demonstrate a classic design that I like. In other cases, we’ve included pictures that were sent in by Gingham Gardens’ readers.

If you’ve followed Gingham Gardens for any length of time, you will know that I love using upcycled vintage items in my gardens. You will see lots of those items here today as well. First, my favorite old wheelbarrow. The bright colors from the new flowers and pumpkins really make this planter a focal point in the corner of the yard. This fall planter includes: Asters (purple), 3 chrysanthemums, creeping jenny and coleus (that were left from the summer arrangement) and pumpkins.

Image of a wheelbarrow with pumpkins and flowers.

A wagon makes the perfect planter for your outdoor Fall arrangements.Image of a wagon with fall flowers and pumpkins

My favorite old whiskey barrel planter makes a very festive fall flower planter with purple fountain grass, rudbeckia, mums and a pumpkin. The adorable fall sign is available on Etsy. As a side note, this shop has some really cute garden signs.

Image of a fall planter with flowers

This wood cart made from barn wood was a flea market find and makes the perfect centerpiece to spruce up our fall garden by our front porch.

Image of a cart with fall flowers and pumpkins

Don’t have just the right pot or planter for your fall flowers? Hollowed out pumpkins make perfect plant pots!

Image of a pumpkin planter with a mum

What about creating a trio of fall container plantings. I love these old bushel baskets serving as planters for fall mums. The addition of pumpkins and gourds in one of the baskets creates some added character.

Image of fall flowers and pumpkins

Use an old chair to create the perfect spot for a flower pot. This one includes a mum, pansy, creeping Jenny, calibrachoa with some small pumpkins tucked in.

Image of vintage chair with fall flowers and pumpkin

Vintage, galvanized wash tubs make the best planters. I picked this one up at a flea market several years ago and it’s found a place in my gardens every year. Leftovers from the summer planter include purple fountain grass and creeping Jenny. The past-their-prime summer annuals were replaced with a mum and a couple of purple kale plants. To add some personality, I added a scarecrow stake and some pumpkins. Btw, the gorgeous purple flowering plant in the background is a perennial aster in full bloom.

Image of a fall planter in a garden

Let’s move away from rustic, country fall planters to this beautiful classy planter of chrysanthemums.

Image of fall planter with mums

The picture above and the one below are a few of my South Carolina sister’s outdoor fall decorations. She has a beautiful collection of Talavera Pottery. Notice how she adds containers of fresh herbs to her outdoor fall vignettes.

Image of Talavera pottery and fall plants

Below is a simple, yet elegant front porch fall flower pot that adorns my Colorado sister’s home. It includes: purple fountain grass, a coneflower, chrysanthemum, calibrachoa and creeping Jenny.

Image of a fall flower planter

A Gingham Gardens’ reader, Laura, is sharing her fall front porch planter. It includes; a fern, purple fountain grass, a dark red mum, ornamental cabbage, succulents, creeping Jenny and is finished off with pumpkins and a gourd. I love the variety in Laura’s planter.

Image of a fall front porch planter

Herbs make a great addition to your fall planters, or to your fall groupings. Even if you don’t use them in your cooking, they make for a great sensory experience in your gardens. The fall themed flower pot below includes pink dianthus, asters, rudbeckia, creeping jenny and ornamental grass.

Colorful fall planter and herb containers

My friend Julie shared this picture of a little vignette she put together outside her front door. I love the big pop of mixed color mums. It just says, “welcome fall.” The wood crates turned upside down add a nice touch of creativity.Image of fall flowers

Wicker baskets made awesome planters. They don’t last for more than a few seasons, but you can get them cheap at thrift stores or garage sales. The fall flower planter below includes mums, pansies and leftover ivy from a summer flower pot.

Image of flowers in a wicker basket

More Fall Container Garden Ideas

If you’re in a time crunch, a simple pot of beautiful mums are always a good choice for adding a welcoming fall touch to your front porch or patio. You can never go wrong with fall mums. Before you visit your local garden centers to shop for fall mums, be sure to read: Tips for Keeping Potted Mums Looking Great.Image of potted mumsWhen I’m perusing garden centers in the fall, I like to snap pictures of the expensive pre-made fall containers and replicate them on my own. Below is a simple, yet gorgeous fall planter with rudbeckia, celosia, ornamental grass, pansies and asparagus fern.

Colorful fall flower planter
Another pretty, pre-made, fall container that would be easy to replicate (and cheaper). It includes purple fountain grass, ornamental kale, zinnias, pansies and ivy.
Fall flower planter

Here are some additional Fall Gardening Posts on Gingham Gardens:

Fall Porch Decor
The Best Fall Perennial Flowers
Fall Flower Garden Inspiration (Plus Decor Ideas)

If you’re looking for some more upscale fall planter ideas, check out: Better Homes & Gardens 31 Fall Container Garden Ideas.

So glad you stopped by Gingham Gardens today. Feel free to hang out in the gardens for awhile. If you like what you see, we love to have you join us.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these Ideas for DIY Outdoor Fall Flower Planters, and are inspired to create your own beautiful fall planters. Feel free to pin some of these pictures to your favorite fall decor or container gardening boards on Pinterest, or share the post to your favorite gardening group on Facebook. There are some pin collages at the bottom of the page too.

Happy fall gardening,

p.s. You can find Gingham Gardens on Pinterest and on Facebook too.

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